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He also picked out from his grandfather’s visitors the languid figure of Talleyrand, who earned his lifelong interest by presenting him with a magnificent box of dominoes.
It was a stern world, inhabited by stern and forbidding fathers, and when Qpeen Victoria came to the throne he was packed off to a private school at Brighton.
Here he produced his first witticism, which, like many a one in later life, was expensive.
Whereupon Pierre-G^sar sat down and wrote a letter to Sir Francis Baring, explaining that he was about to become a partner in the house of Hope and 1 6 LABBY reminding Sir Francis of his promise.
On the whole a stimulating exhibition, from which the child was able to infer that whenever sober people break out they msh into excesses.
It added greatly to his sorrows that his eldest son Henry should have displayed from childhood a marked disinclination to sobriety of thought or behaviour and even appeared to read the Bible for pleasure not profit.
My thanks are due to the editors of the News Chronicle and Truth for allowing me to quote from their columns, to the proprietors of Punch for permis- sion to print a poem by Sir Frederick Bridge, to Messrs. He was an earnest sorrowful man, who subscribed heavily to earnest and sorrowful movements, such as tem- perance, the conversion of the heathen and the distribution of the Bible.V^en an- other boy was being pummelled and sat upon, he engaged in the pastime, rea Hsing that the only way to survive early school-hfe without personal injury was to be a sportsman, one of the hunters not the hunted.Another passport to popularity and personal safety was to score off the masters, and he did not fail AN ENGLISH EDUCATION 19 to apply his mind to the problem.His baby teeth, at the age of six, had just disappeared and the new ones had not yet taken their place.His triumph was premature, and from that moment to the end of his days at the Brighton school he was never able to sit down with conuort.‘My skin,’ he LABBY i8 declared, ‘was in a permanent state of discolouration owing to the kind attentions of the master/ Though the school had a considerable reputation, mainly because the owner ‘had the effrontery to charge a high price for the privilege of being at it’, the master, according to this pupil, was ‘one of the most ill-con- ditioned ruffians that ever wielded a cane’.